For some bizarre reason, Blogger is now telling me I do not follow any blogs and my list is nowhere to be seen, which means I cannot see who is doing what where and how. Sigh. 200 of you lot could be doing the most amazingly splendid things and I cannot see. Well, I could re-start the computer and hope you all magically return but that can wait till the morning.
I decided to bake the first batch of Christmas biscuits (cookies, that is) today and got a little carried away, and so have been asleep on the couch ever since. This preparing for Christmas thingy could take a looooooooong time! But I have time. So that is good. The scent of cinnamon and spices needs to be wafting through the house.
The Christmas music has been playing, (with me singing along with vigour, of course) and the twinkling lights are on all over the house as well, and it really does look so lovely. Add the red Christmas apron, a dusting of flour over the floor, dishes in the sink, the old and much loved recipe books open at the favourite pages, the candles flickering, and the smell of freshly baked biscuits, and you get the idea. I love it.
I am preparing for my boys to come home over the Christmas season, just as mothers all over the world are doing right now. I wish my girl could be here too. David finishes the term this Friday and Andrew, Ann and Missy will bring him home. Then they (A, A and M) will come back on Boxing Day and stay a while, so I will have a BABY in residence! How exciting is that! Hopefully, this time she will know me. Well, she will by the time she has been here a day or two at least. She is 10 months old now, can you believe. The time has just flown by.
Temperatures are set to plummet even further this week, and there may well be snow as well. I wonder if we will have a white Christmas this year?
But this is a time for thinking and dreaming, for giving thanks and for remembering. All those years....... as a child, a wife, a mother. Old traditions. The chance to create new traditions. I look at the page in the recipe book, and I run my hand over the page, thinking back to the very first time I baked those biscuits, a long long time ago. The friends who have passed through my life since then, who have sat in my kitchen as I baked them each year. The little children lining up to lick the bowl. The stampede of little feet through the house. The big ones still wanting to do the same. These too, are the biscuits I give as gifts. Made with love every year. Simple gifts. And down through time, I hear all those happy voices filling my heart with warm memories. I may be sitting in my quiet home right now, but I hear those beloved voices as clear as bells.
And, in the years to come, there will be another little one who will stand on a chair and help me bake those biscuits. Whose voice will be added to the remembered ones which make me smile. Maybe next year she will be big enough for us to start.
This, then, is what life is all about. Sharing, teaching, learning, loving, giving the gift of love. And as Christmas is the time of the Greatest Gift of Love Ever Given, maybe one of the lessons I re-learn each year is that giving is what brings the greatest of joys. And that, in turn, brings with it, the greatest memories.
I am so thankful.